The Finder app is here! 🥳

Get your savings sorted.

7 ways to support the travel industry during COVID-19

Simple ways you can help sustain tourism companies that don't involve travelling (at the moment).

Last updated:

The world is closing its borders and travel is practically non-existent, leaving the tourism industry in dire straits. Thousands of staff are being laid off and at the end of the tunnel some businesses may cease to exist.

None of us wants to say goodbye to our favourite tourism company or passionate small business. While we appreciate you can't travel at the moment, there are ways you can support the industry and ease the financial burden while we all wait this one out. Particularly if you are in an industry that hasn't been negatively affected by COVID-19.

1. Postpone don't cancel

This feels like the mantra of the tourism industry right now. Whatever plans you had for this year, don't cancel and let your holiday plans pass you by.

Instead of demanding a refund, reschedule your trip for next year. Or request to keep that money on credit for use further down the track.

2. Buy gift certificates

From airlines to tour companies and experiences to cruises, travel gift cards give companies money in advance and give you that feeling that a holiday is right around the corner.

You can buy these for yourself or as presents for mates. With uncertainty in the air just make sure that there's a long expiry date attached so you have ample time to redeem it.

In light of the situation, these companies have extended their voucher periods.

3. Check out their online stores

There's more to buy from travel companies than the experience itself. Often you'll find merch sections where you can inject some funds and help promote their brands. For example:

  • Contiki: Sells filtered water bottles and T-shirts.
  • G Adventures: Sells outdoor gear including clothes and bags.
  • Insight Vacations: Sells travel gear by New Headings. This includes hats, jackets and walking shoes.
  • RedBalloon: On top of experiences it sells gift hampers, food, wine, personalised gifts, fashion and accessories.
  • Qantas: Sells everything from electronics and homewares to gift cards and Qantas-branded merchandise.
  • Virgin Australia: Rewards store lets you purchase wine and sportswear on top of flights, car hire and hotel stays.

Hospitality is also pivoting its businesses to stay afloat during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Restaurants are offering takeaway, distilleries are selling sanitiser and pubs are transforming into local grocers. Supporting these local initiatives is a great way to keep businesses running and staff employed while yes, avoiding those queues at the supermarket.

Man standing inside Mona art gallery in Tasmania.

4. Or, check out their virtual tours

In an effort to keep you travelling, even at home, zoos are live streaming their animal enclosures, operas are recording their performances and museums and galleries are offering virtual tours of their artefacts and artworks.

They might not necessarily be getting your admission ticket money, but they are promoting their offerings for when you can travel.

They're also clocking up the number of views on their social channels which boosts their online presence.

Here are some local virtual tours and live streams:

Here are some international virtual tours and live streams:

5. Donate your event ticket

Cancelled events can leave venues, artists and roadies out of work. If you had a festival, concert, play or sporting event that didn't go ahead, you might consider donating the cost of your ticket back to the production.

Yes, you didn't get your money's worth. But if you can spare the cash, your donation can help fund upcoming productions. Contact the venue or production company directly for the best way you can forward on your donation.

Those in need of entertainment can check out these live streams and performances:

6. Volunteer your talents

Small businesses are exactly that: small. They're likely family owned and run. A way to support that'll only cost you time is by offering up your talents.

Good with content? You can offer to clean up their websites or rewrite their LinkedIn profiles. IT guru? Perhaps you can speed up their systems or upgrade their tech.
Whatever it is, contact them and ask if you can help in any way.

7. Use your social cred to promote them

Whether you have one friend or thousands on social media, you can spread the word by sending a shout-out on your accounts for a company you love that is doing it rough.

Share its posts or write a glowing review if you have firsthand experience using it.

If you're a travel business doing it tough right now, let us know in the comments below.

Related Posts

Latest travel offers

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.
Ask a question
Go to site